Movie Producer, Charles Novia On Mission to Save Majek Fashek
Just as he did with his biography, Nollywood till November:Memoirs of a Nollywood insider, Nollywood producer, Charles Novia is poised to stir up the entertainment scene with the long-awaited film on legendary Nigerian reggae music star, Majekodunmi Fasheke, aka Majek Fashek.
Titled Majek the Rainmaker, the movie has been in the making for about two years. But Novia says that he is not under pressure to hasten its production.
“Although time is the major challenge that I am having at present, I am not worried that the production of the film is taking a long time to complete. I’m taking it in my stride because you cannot do a movie like this on a low budget. I believe that even as the production drags, the story will keep telling itself,” he says, in an interview with our correspondent.
The seasoned producer blames the delay in the production of the film on a number of factors. One of them is the global economic crisis of 2010, which prevented some interested sponsors from investing in the film.
A few logistic and technical hitches had also led to the temporary suspension of the production. But Novia declares, rather excitedly, that everything has finally been sorted out.
“Lately I managed to get a couple of investors in Los Angeles to inject funds in the movie. I will be travelling to the United State of America to shoot the final part of the movie very soon,” he says.
‘Majek the Rainmaker’ is being shot in three parts. The first part focuses on the early years of Majek Fashek in Benin City, where he was born. The second part deals with the beginning and the peak of his career as a music star. It includes his early days with the famous, but now defunct, reggae group known as the Jastix.
This period, the 1980s precisely, was the defining point in Majek’s career, which saw him playing alongside the likes of Ras Kimono and Amos McRoy and engaging in extensive tours with the Mandators before he left the Jastix to release the multiple-award winning album, Prisoner of Conscience.
The third part of the movie covers Majek’s foray into the American music scene. But it is doubtful if the producer will dwell on his gradual descent from limelight, despite recording two successful albums (‘Rainmaker’ and ‘Little Patience’) for different records labels in the US, to a life of addiction to drugs.
Against the backdrop of reports insinuating that consistent drug use might have eventually unhinged the reggae star, Novia appears determined to get the movie released to the public as quickly as possible.
More than a biography of Majek Fashek, the movie seems to be a self-imposed task to salvage what is left of the crumbled image of the musician, who has been recently spotted in different parts of Lagos looking quite emaciated and, evidently, in dire need of rehabilitation.
When asked why he has chosen Majek as the subject of the work-in-progress, the movie producer replies, “Majek has been grossly misunderstood by his fans in Nigeria and Africa. I feel he has a story that must be told. I want to tell that story as best as I can. I have been his manager for six years. Don’t forget that my records label, November Records, released his last album in Nigeria.”